Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli & Pele – The methods and motives of Newcastle United-linked billionaire Joe DaGrosa

A passion for British history, an obsession with the literature of Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill, inspired by Brazilian great Pele and the New York Cosmos – meet the man who COULD become the new owner of Newcastle United.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 5:14 pm
US businessman, president of the GACP investment fund, Joseph DaGrosa leaves French professional football league (LFP) headquarters in Paris after a meeting on September 10, 2018 as GACP will take control of French football club Girondins de Bordeaux by the end of September. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Billionaire Joe DaGrosa has been linked with a takeover of the Magpies in recent weeks as head of GACP Sports, in conjunction with former Manchester United and Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon.

And in a recent interview with Get French Football News, the Bordeaux owner has given some insight into why he could pursue a deal to wrestle control of United from Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley, and return to England for a place at the top table in the Premier League.

Fifty-five-year-old DaGrosa has opened up about time spend in London, his obsession with the life and career of former Prime Minister Disraeli and a determination to overcome challenges – something which would no doubt suit him well in dealing with United owner Ashley.

“You learn most from challenges. Failure is when you hit a challenge and give up,” said DaGrosa.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“In the immortal words of Winston Churchill: ‘Never, never, never give up’ – and that has been a theme of mine. It’s worked for me.”

On his business methods, DaGrosa expands his theories.

“I like to take calculated risks,” he said.

“The common theme of most successful people is that they’ve had to deal with challenges, whether that be generals or politicians or anyone.

“History has taught me, people who have had success, they’ve not had a cake walk.

“I was a student in London at 20 in 1985. I happened to walk into a book store and picked a book off the shelf randomly. It happened to to be the life of Benjamin Disraeli.

“I read it once, then again and again. It really resonated with me.

“He rose from people doubting whether he’d get into politics to Prime Minister.”

Football as we know it, or soccer in the US, is not something which immediately-grabbed this Yonkers-born New Yorker.

Basketball, baseball, ‘football’ and hockey were the ‘turn to’ sports on the east coast for DaGrosa in the 1970s. Well, that was until one of the world’s greats – albeit in the twilight years of his career – pitched up in North America.

“Soccer, when I was growing up, I did not know who played it. It wasn’t until I went to high school at maybe 14 that I saw anyone playing the game,” he explained.

“Pele put it on the map. I am from Yonkers outside New York. Pele came to the Cosmos and then it took off. It didn’t have an impact on the big four sports but it was then on the map

“I looked at football through the prism of a business opportunity rather than a love for the game.”

An interesting concept, but another peak inside the mindset of a man out to make money out of the sport and build from the bottom up, not just throw dollars at it.

“History will be kind to me because I intend to write it” – Newcastle United fans might well hope that’s the case on Tyneside, rather than just in the south of France.